Good morning, everyone.
For whatever reason, the desire to read Jurassic Park overcame me yesterday, so I went to a bookstore, picked up a copy, and ripped through the first part of it last night. I have had a lingering interest in reading another Michael Crichton novel for a while because they're a good time if you're into that kind of thing. Prior to yesterday, it wasn't strong enough to actually do so, but it was there.
The event that kicked this nascent impulse into high gear was the non-story wherein Laura Dern wondered aloud whether the age gap in the original movie between her character and Sam Neill was appropriate. After this story passed by me, the slumbering Critchton impulse was slightly awakened.
All it took after that was one conversation concerning what Jurassic Park was actually about to seal the deal. The insight came from a friend who opined that the book was mostly about scientists, programmers, etc. who work safely outside the purview of reality and encounter the messy, violent reality of nature. That this brush with Mother Nature materializes with the rise of the dinosaurs dramatizes it to a mythic degree. I guess he'd seen the article too because Crichton, the book, the story was on the tip of his tongue.
People have been so conditioned to "news" like Dern's opinion that it's likely they tune out the drama and roll their eyes when they run across it. The Dern story shouldn't have been sensational enough to garner a headline which made it a perfect marketing tool to remind people of the forthcoming movie Jurassic World Dominion without raising their hackles too much. The important payload that reaches people and sticks with them is simply the idea of Jurassic Park which, when later campaigns, stories, drama, etc. roll out, lingers there to spark that recognition of familiarity and hopefully motivate the person to action — priming the pump, so to speak.
I don't have cable TV anymore, but I house sat last night for someone who does. Flicking through the channels, I noticed that Jurassic World from 2015 was on CBS or NBC (can't remember which). We're about two weeks out from the new Jurassic Park movie, which I have no intention of seeing, and yet, the story, the book, and Michael Crichton himself have taken such a hold of me that I physically drove to a bookstore yesterday to buy said book. Even asked the girl at the checkout counter if they had the book after I wasn't able to find it on the shelf. They did, and she dispatched another employee to fetch it from the "warehouse" in the back.
How many people like me did the same yesterday? How many turned on Jurassic Park after seeing some bit of marketing material related to it?
Before you brush all this aside, consider how many other things that we think about or do that follow a similar pattern — motivated by external media that we come across and don't consciously interact with. In the context of a movie, it seems relatively benign, but it'd be easy to translate these tactics for a politically motivated campaign. Stir the pot a bit to get some attention on the front end of a more serious PR push.
A peek behind the veil.
Today, we look at what to expect on your August primary ballot, review a book from a semi-regular Pamphleteer contributor, and peak at where you're most likely to get your wallet back.
Also, be sure to check out our latest podcast episode. New episodes every Monday. Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks for reading.
The latest from our friend John Arra at Way Out Charlotte Pike has him revisiting an author you don't normally associate with Huxley, Orwell, and Ayn Rand but has some insight nonetheless.
MORE FROM JOHN
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↯ WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR AUGUST BALLOT
Last Friday the Davidson County Election Commission (DCEC) got together to discuss the upcoming August primary election ballot. Here’s what to expect.
Charter Changes Made It On The Ballot
Metro City Council voted for 4 Charter amendments to be voted on by the public. The actions taken to get these on the August ballot were swift. The council approved all 4 charter amendments during Metro’s meeting 3 weeks ago.
Last Friday the Davidson County Election Commission met to review and approve the ballot for the August 4th primary election. There were a few concerns during the meeting:
- Concerns arose regarding one of the Charter amendments passed by Metro Council.
- The Charter Amendments make the ballot unusually long.
A Lengthy Ballot
When all was said and done, the Commission unanimously voted to go forward with the full ballot, including the Charter amendments. It’ll look like this:
- If you are voting using an absentee ballot, your ballot will be 4 pages, covered front and back.
- If you are voting in person, you will have to input two pieces of paper when scanning your vote.
A Day Added To Early Voting
Due to the lengthy ballot and the 4 Charter amendments that are included on the ballot, the Commission will be adding an additional day to early voting.
DCEC Member Express Distaste
One of the Charter amendments passed by Metro Council will make the public’s ability to petition Metro Council decisions significantly more difficult. The amendment will require signatures from 10% of all registered voters in Davidson County. Commission members expressed concern for both the staggering feat of getting the proper amount of signatures for a petition, as well as noting that the Election commission is expected to verify all the signatures within 30 days after the petition is turned in. Ultimately all four amendments did make it onto the ballot and you will have your chance to vote on these issues this August.
- Metro Public Health Department reports increased drug overdoses in downtown Nashville (Channel 5) The health department is calling on individuals and business owners to start carrying medications to save lives, like Narcan.
- State moving along on $189M Legislative Plaza overhaul (Post) The State Building Commission approved the funding, including $6 million for a designer and general contractor, at a meeting earlier this month.
- Schools budget proposes $11K raise for bus drivers, other pay bumps (Tennessean) The school district's fiscal year 2022-23 operating budget includes nearly $59.9 million for pay increases, increased insurance and pension costs, and making paid family leave available to all employees.
- Tennessee’s decision to freeze tuition hikes could keep more students in college next school year (WPLN) The freeze was made possible by a $90 million investment into Tennessee’s higher education budget that was approved by Gov. Bill Lee and state lawmakers. Institutions were also granted more than “$47 million to fund the state’s share of a 4% state employee salary increase.”
- Nashville still in contention for 2024 RNC, despite criticism from national GOP figures (Tennessean) Despite grumblings from some national members, Nashville is still very much in contention for the next Republican National Convention, according to Tennessee GOP chair Scott Golden.
- Unclear when voucher program can get off the ground following high court ruling (TNJ) Republican Gov. Bill Lee is hailing the Supreme Court’s decision upholding school vouchers but says “a lot of steps” are still required before the program allowing parents in Nashville and Shelby County to spend taxpayer dollars on private school tuition can go live.
- Booted from GOP ballot, Trump House pick to advise ex-rival (Tennessean) A one-time U.S. House hopeful in Tennessee who landed former President Donald Trump's endorsement before state Republican Party officials booted her off the ballot is now providing national security advice to another candidate in that race.
- Developer has site of future Publix under contract (Post)
- 500 Unit Development Proposed Along Whites Creek Pike In North Nashville (Now Next)
- Lebanon Outlets site to gain office, residential components (Post)
- New York REIT buys 66-acre property in The Nations (Post)
☤ THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW
First Do No Harm
The Calamo Press.
For a film director to be successful, he must pay attention to his audience. Process and costs aside, the most successful directors are those who place the experience of the audience above all else. From Steven Spielberg to Cecil B. DeMille, all the great filmmakers share this primary concern. Another breed of director that is more common and less enduring in their work is the functionary who consistently gets movies out on time, is under budget, and sticks to the script. He doesn't consult the audience as the primary filter for decisions, and instead, works solely for the studios who stroke him his check and pay for his health insurance. You don't hear about these guys as much.
As the film industry has consolidated and the financial demands of the studios has taken center stage, you see more and more directors who fit the latter mold and fewer and fewer directors with a keen eye toward what the audience wants to see. In part, this may explain why the film industry is stuck depending on massive franchise properties and movies planned by committee for revenue and why the successful director-driven middle-budget movie, where much experimentation occurs, has become the exception.
It may sound strange to compare the two, but medicine is not all that different.
One of our semi-regular contributors, Doc Paracelsus, has just released a new book entitled First Do No Harm. Previously, the Doc had penned a series of "Tales from the ER" ranging from the spooky to the scary to the comedic along with a series of essays on his substack and with IM1776 that detailed and parsed apart issues within medicine.
His book picks up the train of thought he started months ago in these series of essays and stories and molds them into a cohesive and thorough look at the state of modern medicine from the perspective of a physician. Typically, critiques of medicine come from administrators who point out inefficiencies be it from a cost or process perspective.
This may be, in part, because the number of administrators has increased by 3,200% since 1975 (compared to the 150% increase in the number of physicians which roughly tracks with the general population increase.) If you're looking to get a leg up in the industry and advance, you must position yourself as an administrator capable of overseeing processes and costs, and not, as the Doc so effectively laments, caring for patients.
The book paints a picture of a byzantine medical contraption of competing, overlapping incentives and processes that shift and tend to accommodate everyone and everything but the actual health of the patient. For doctors trying to do good work, it seems that the entire system is set against them. Anecdote after anecdote lays this threadbare as computer prompts and bosses force physicians into "one size fits all" procedures designed solely to reduce costs, raise profits, and increase efficiency.
If you think all this information will depress you, it probably will, but Doc's book is not without its moments of lightness, humor, and levity. The prologue details the experience of a patient getting sucked into the medical apparatus as doctors pursue more expensive and invasive procedures to solve a speculative problem based on his medical history. He's put on statins to lower his blood pressure, told to go on a low-fat diet, and as a result, undergoes a cardiac catheterization procedure to solve a problem it's not even clear he has.
By the end of the episode, the patient suddenly comes to and sees his future laid out before him. One with towering medical bills, too much time spent under the fluorescent bulbs of maze-like hospital hallways, and leaves with a pledge to never return. It is with this episode, the central insight being that all of this is optional, that we take a tour through medical education, hospitals, health insurance, the FDA, the CDC, vaccines, and more.
Throughout the book, the Doc recenters criticisms around the patient and how difficult the healthcare industry makes it for doctors to do their primary jobs: to look after and care for the patient. By the end of the book, it is abundantly clear that the best thing one can do for his health is to stay as far away from hospitals as possible by eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sunlight. In the concluding chapter, he notes this fact and suggests some additional reading for those wanting to go deeper on the topic.
If the Kafkian hell revealed within these pages does not motivate you to begin making better health decisions, then it's possible nothing will.
☞ GRAPH OF THE DAY: SIR, YOU DROPPED YOUR WALLET
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🍼 A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children.
- 🌾 The world has just 10 weeks' worth of wheat stockpiled after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine disrupted supplies from the "breadbasket of Europe". The UN has been warned that global wheat inventories have fallen to their lowest level since 2008.
- ⛪️ An investigative report into the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, found sexual abuse victims within the church were stonewalled and faced "outright hostility" by leadership, as suspected perpetrators were allowed to remain in leadership positions.
- 🇨🇳 President Biden said the U.S. would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take it by force, sparking uncertainty over whether the U.S. was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity and prompting a clarification from the White House.
- 🤡 The Philadelphia school district is reimposing the K-12 indoor mask mandate for students and staff beginning Monday.
- ❌ Netflix is canceling several animated projects, including Ibram X. Kendi’s film “Antiracist Baby,” as the streaming service has been forced to cut costs and lay off workers due to dwindling subscriber numbers.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours Thursday at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab. We host these on the last Thursday of every month.
📷 It's flea market weekend at the Fairgrounds: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday starting at 8am
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
👂 Listen to The Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of the bands featured in this week's calendar.
🎻 Leftover Salmon @ Station Inn, 8p $35, Info
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
ON THE RADAR
🎻 Town Mountain (6/2) @ 3rd & Lindsley, $20, Info
👁 Beethoven's 9th (6/2-5) @ Schermerhorn, $25+, Info
🍳 Big K.R.I.T. (6/5) @ Brooklyn Bowl, $25, Info
🚨 Eprom (6/25) @ Eastside Bowl, 9p, $25.50, Info
🎸 My Morning Jacket (9/23) @ Ascend Amphitheater, 7p, $22.88, Info
🎸 Smashing Pumpkins (10/10) @ Bridgestone Arena, 6:30p, $133+, Info
FROM LAST WEEK
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
⚙ Wingnuts vs. Factions The two theories of American government—one fantasy, one reality
↟ Kingdom of Normalcy On DeSantis' remarkable ascendancy and the new Florida
⚱ Aristotle goes to Hollywood Today, the ancient Greek storyteller would be winning Oscars. To learn how, turn to the Poetics, his masterwork on writing
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Jill Biden tries to speak Spanish again
- Kamala Harris: "We all believe that when we talk about the children of the community, they are a children of the community."
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Words of Wisdom
“In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.”